Judge denies media access to sniper trial


A coalition of local and national media outlets lost their battle to televise
the Prince William County, Va., murder trial of accused Washington, D.C., sniper
John Allen Muhammad.

Judge LeRoy Millette ruled from the bench after a hearing Thursday morning
that while he would allow still cameras in his courtroom, he would not allow
video because of its affect on witnesses and distraction to jurors.

Kathleen Kirby, counsel to the Radio-Television News Directors Association,
said the media was disappointed and it will weigh its options. But given the
discretion a trial judge has to control a courtroom, a successful appeal seems

In addition to the RTNDA, the media coalition included networks CBS, ABC, NBC,
Cable News Network, Courtroom Television Network and Fox News Channel, as well as local radio stations WTOP-AM and WMAL-AM; local TV
stations WRC-TV, WUSA(TV), WJLA-TV and WTTG(TV); cable's Newschannel 8; and advocacy
organizations the Virginia Association of Broadcasters, the Reporters Committee for
Freedom of the Press and the Society of Professional Journalists.